The downfall of Murdoch University

With Murdoch University under siege over its poor handling of international student enrolments and its lawsuit against whistle-blower Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk, an enterprising individual going by the avatar of Murdoch Maven has published the above hilarious parody: “Murdoch Downfall”.

Warning: the subtitles contain very explicit language.

Enjoy!

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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      • How about the overseas campuses of Aussie “universities”.

        Monash University Malaysia, located in Bandar Sunway, Kuala Lumpur has an enrolment of approximately 7,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree by research students across seven schools.

        RMIT has two campuses in Vietnam

        Swinburne Sarawak campus, Malaysia

        • Melbourne Private may have failed because the international students wouldn’t have a local student to do the bulk of the group work while they sit back and wait for the group assessment.

          • Charles Sturt Uni is in on this caper. Originally in Albury-Wodonga they now have a campus in Canberra. Not to mention Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and lots of other places.

          • Locus of ControlMEMBER

            Charles Darwin University (Northern Territory) is amusing to watch as it tears itself apart trying to get a piece of that international student lucre. Curtailing local/ regional (NT) campuses, programs, courses and jobs (generating considerable opprobrium amongst NT locals) and moving staff and courses interstate in an effort to win over the international student market. Unfortunately CDU doesn’t have the prestige of any of the sandstone unis and are taking on the absolute lowest-end (from an academic perspective – English comprehension, literacy, etc.) students, passing them and eroding the value of their degrees in the process. Locals don’t want a bar of them any more considering the way they’ve treated our peers/ community and the lack of credibility associated with their degrees and they’re a last resort for internationals as they gain a bad reputation amongst them too (on the academic rigour/ credibility of degrees front). They’re not getting anywhere near the quantity of international enrolments (i.e. revenue streams) they want for all this self-sabotage. Millions of dollars in debt to boot. & they think a campus in Darwin CBD will attract international students (it won’t, our CBD is nothing like Melbourne’s or Sydney’s). At this rate, CDU could very well be a contender for going out of business altogether. The only thing keeping it going is government largesse and if that were to get pulled, sayonara CDU!!

      • Look out for a switch to offshore processing of students at these overseas campuses before transferring them onshore. It may make it easier to avoid English language requirements. Onshore is where the money is at.

      • You have to visit the crypt to find out what happened to the Monash University Business School that was sent down to MtEliza and off campus as the shame grew – totally intolerable standards made it a piece of academic plutonium that in the late 1980s and 1990s could not be tolerated by Monash.

        Now it would be very different.

        https://trove.nla.gov.au/people/512621?c=people

        Released, this academic toe nail infection eventually joined up with the Melbourne University colony of “business” spores gathered together from Glyn Davis and his handmaidens. It mutated into the Melbourne Business School that is plugged into Malaysia:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_Business_School

        Glyn Davis was the person who opened up Melbourne University to those who have sought to profit from its reputation built from generations that kept people like Glyn Davis and his friends away from academia. That is a provable position.

        https://government.unimelb.edu.au/staff/glyn-davis

        It is from the little bolt holes that Glyn made that bankers, demographers and marketers were allowed to re-make themselves as ‘academics’ without actually being academics. They opposed the normative values of academia – and so did Glyn Davis.

        One such colonist of his new oak panelled nest for woodworms is this scumbag:

        https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/individuals/professor-peter-mcdonald

        Joining the dots is interesting. We have room full of people who have managed to corrupt Australia’s universities – no more. But we have building after building of academics that let it happen. Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk is not one of them.

        • In some regard, what has happened (if we are to give them the benefit of the doubt) is based on cold, rational decisions based on the fact (we assume so) that Government funding from successive governments has been cut and Universities had to change and adjust accordingly.

          The politics and policies of Neo-Liberalism have weaved their way into everything and Universities have not been spared.
          The scourge of Neo-Liberalism found its means of expression at Australian Universities in the form of Glynn and co.

          • Utter rot. Using Melbourne U as an example – they booked $890 million of internal student fee revenue in 2018. That blows the annual impact of an indexation freeze of around 2% on their $800 million of government grants out of the water. In totality, they get over $1 billion in Australian government grants each year. Sure, their operating result was only $65 million but most of their expenditure is on professional services and non-academic staff (about $900 million combined). The university as a place of learning would be sustainable with a quarter the amount of international students and a reduction in the huge amount of cross-subsidisation of research by undergraduate tuition fees and non-academic staff.

          • Agree about neoliberalism, but the point is that the university boards have been set up, and VCs incentivised, to build empires that make them and their compatriots rich. True, it has been engineered that way by government, but only to the degree to select the “right” people to run public institutions to make profit. After that you don’t need to ask ‘to what end and why?’ All of a sudden the very idea of academia being guided by values gets thrown out the window. What replaces it is a mechanism to enshrine progress and excess as the end game. Once set in motion it is dispassionate and the ‘institution” no longer cares about what it used to stand for and what has been lost. People like Glyn would build an elevator to nowhere if it makes money and is in keeping with their mantra of progress – they don’t give a [email protected] about the elevator. This is the mechanism that breaks the back of public institutions that once used to keep people like Glyn Davis outside its walls and treat them with contempt born of a notion that they were not serving higher principles, but political goals. Of course, this bred plenty of academic wankerism, but the current system has bred the worst forms of parasitism and opportunism that is robbing public institutions of their most valuable asset – integrity. People like Glyn Davis do so because they see themselves as players in politics and big time wheeler-dealers who worked in government up to his neck in the neoliberal rollout fro 1995. The ribbon-cutting and ‘name of a building’ manager comes from a certain type of academic with an inferiority complex and lust for power and influence – not learning. While that should have made him tainted in academia, he rode the neoliberal goods train that imposed the purchaser-provider structure on universities. He is a classic example of the sort of elite thug who has found his niche in the university/government elite revolving door.

      • Hi Jacob
        I wonder how that can be legal? Exclusively international students…isn’t that somehow r a zest? Discriminatory against locals at best? Can a uni have a zero inter nation al policy? Recon the chancellor and board that decided to #standalone On this i$$ue would go to jail quick smart

  1. Thanks for the explicit language warning. Saved me from clicking and being shocked.

    PS – hey Dom, where’s your crowdfunding effort for the Turkster, buddy?

      • After a long and tedious search, the likes of Kylie will probably get another job, less pay and less superannuation.

        Though the Vice-Chancellor will easily slide their greasy selves into some other well-paid job where they can continue riding the (well paid) bullsh*t carousel.

        Exhibit A: Glyn Davis – From January 2005 until September 2018 he served as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. Davis is married to Margaret Gardner, the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University.
        In December 2018, Davis became the CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

        Has anyone heard of the Paul Ramsay Foundation???

        all taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyn_Davis

        • In the US these charitable foundations are simply tax dodges. Is it the same here, I wonder?

          Certainly, for the well-heeled there are a multitude of things one can do to, um, ‘shield’ one’s wealth from the predations of the tax system. Of course, the ordinary Joe simply must pay taxes – that’s non negotiable. If not them, then who?!

          • The real p*ssing contest is where they end up in the annual international rankings.

            A bit like Melbourne having been, “The most Liveable City in the World”.

  2. Once you invoke Hitler, you lose the argument. Not this time. “I’ll never get a building with my name on it”, pure gold. They don’t call them “Vice” Chancellors for nothing, do they.

  3. Fantastisch. Wir alle stehen bei Gerd.

    Is this a spark of life from the academic resistance at Murdoch? If the Murdoch exec team and VCs want to play with a cocktail of identity politics, exploitation and the law one can only hope that as it blows up in their own kitchen and removes their ability to progress their jihad against academic life and free speech in Australia.

    No Kylie, you won’t find another job in a self respecting university – but give Bond University a call and tell them that Eeva Leinonen will write you a reference. She’s penning one for Goebbels at present.

    • Funny thing is: Eeva Leinonen is a Finn and they’re generally pretty liberal / left wing.

      Perhaps then, ‘greed’ wasn’t the motivating factor here – just a desire to see as many 3rd worlders be educated.

      Curious minds would like to know

      • Didn’t know that. Then this meme (Downfall) is going to bite given that Finland had a troubled pact with the Nazis during WW2 when they were attacked by the Soviets. Ouch.

        There is a lot to be admired about the Finnish system of education. Problem is, that when people take on jobs with highly inflated salaries and run institutions into the ground using a model based on lowered entry standards, it becomes pretty unconvincing for them to claim that they did so as a liberal minded effort to raise standards. Go after an academic in the courts and it’s ever so less convincing.

        Finland has raised the standard of teachers and their status in the community and the high bar for students. They are also very orientated towards free speech and community values, It’s very hard to see any of that happening at Murdoch.

        At best it might be that people like Eeva Leinonen have made a pact that she can serve two masters and produce the fabled “win-win”. In my view that highlights a moral weakness and an unwillingness to protect academic integrity.

        • Yes, my suggestion was always a triumph of hope over reality. I spent several years in Finland, on and off, and ‘greed is good’ is not a characteristic you’d typically associate with them as a people.

  4. I’ve worked for an outsourced English admissions program for Murdoch, and have honestly and transparently assessment many students as below the required English ability. Then lo and behold come the students’ desired graduation date, they’ve magically met the standards via the the tinkering of the records by management. I’m sad to say I’m also a Murdoch graduate from long ago and it pains me to see how they’ve completely run into the ground the name of the institution for some quick cash. It’s all a sign of the times, I guess.

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